Designers must consider material availability when specifying section sizes, particularly for the heavier sizes in a nominal size range, and for small quantities of the less commonly used sizes. As regional availability of steel products varies, information on the availability of particular sizes can be obtained from either local steel fabricators, producers, and service centres. The new CISC Handbook (11th Edition) provides general guidance on relative availability:

  • I-shapes: all W, HP, S and M sections are imported; readily available sizes are highlighted in yellow in Part Six of the Handbook
  • Other sections: the majority of channels, angles and HSS are produced in Canada, Jumbo HSS sections are the exception; imported sizes are labelled with an asterisk (*)

Table 6-8 within the CISC Handbook shows the primary and secondary grades for common steel shapes across Canada, in terms of general availability and usage.